Gemma Ward speaks about Heath Ledger's death and her acting career

01 February 2011

Gorgeous Australian super, Gemma Ward, has been off the fashion scene for a while now, but we can all easily recall her baby face and blonde locks balanced atop legs that a baby giraffe would envy. Anyway. She took time away from the catwalks, fame and all that and was with Heath Ledger in New York during 2007 – up until the time he died in January 2008.

In a moving interview to Australian paper, The Herald Sun, Gemma spoke about her relationship with the late actor;

‘I have taken a break from the media spotlight for the past few years and it was something spurred by Heath's death," she said. "(Heath and I) first met in New York and we were both struggling with things that I won't get into, and we bonded over that.

‘I kind of met him at first and said, “Listen my mum's living with me right now and I'm kind of going through a hard time and I'm not interested in having a serious relationship with somebody right now” and he was like, “You know, um, let's just be there for each other through these hard times we're both going through”. And we developed a relationship and we started seeing each other.’

Heath and Gemma both came from Perth in Australia. She went on;

‘There was no one like him - and no one will ever be like him. . . I'm just so grateful I got to meet him and get as close as I did with him.

The time we spent in Perth was incredible because we were both from Perth and it was also a time when it was beautiful in Perth and both our families were there and we met each other's families.’

‘We were able to not be in any kind of a spotlight and not have to be meeting with people or be hounded by press or anything. We lived in a magical kind of world where we weren't intruded upon.’

The story has a bit of a happier ending though, because now she is making a comeback – though on stage rather than on the catwalk. As well as a play at The Perth Theatre Company called The Ugly One, Gemma is also taking on film work and will be in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie with Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush! Wow!

The former model, who will play Tamara, Queen of the Mermaids said ‘Lots of models have played mermaids throughout history and it is, kind of, a funny rite of passage (from modelling to acting)’.

Wise words indeed, and we can't wait to see her covered in scales on the big screen this summer!

- Naomi Attwood


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